Though G.I. Joe action figures were created by Hasbro in 1964, they really became a global phenomenon during the 1980s, thanks in large part to the animated television series, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983-1986). And, if you were a boy during that era, chances are you were playing with these G.I. Joe figures of the 1980s while the cartoon blasted from your TV …
Gung Ho was part of a wave of new figures introduced in the 1980s to coincide with the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero TV show. In addition to his trademark hat, he wore black boots, camouflage pants, and a green and orange shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
He was armed with his trademark shotgun (which he carried in a brown-and-green sling) or a grenade launcher that fired rubber bands.
Crazylegs was a member of the G.I. Joe team, and as his name implies, he had a pair of long legs that could be turned and bent into extreme positions.
The assault trooper carried an M-16 rifle or pistol in addition to various grenades and explosives which attached to his chest.
Shipwreck was a sailor who later became a member of the U.S. Navy SEALs and eventually joined G.I. Joe as an expert in naval operations, underwater demolitions, and traps
Shipwreck came with two pistols that fired rubber bands or could be combined to form a machine gun which he wore on his back.
Zartan was a master of disguise who could change his appearance and voice to trick opponents in many ways.
Zartan was available as a Cobra agent, dressed in blue with an overcoat, or as G.I. Joe’s archenemy disguised as the Commander’s aide-de-camp Tiger Force who came armed with two swords that fired rubber bands or darts.
Zarana was Zartan’s sister and a formidable martial artist.
She came with two, long-distance blasters that fired rubber bands or darts and wore the same blue overcoat as her brother.
Snake Eyes was G.I. Joe’s ultimate soldier who could turn his right eye into a camera to monitor enemies from afar; he also had several weapons including a sword.
Snake Eyes was available as a Cobra agent, dressed in green with an overcoat or black ninja gear; he could also be G.I. Joe’s ally and came armed with two swords that fired rubber bands or darts – one of which had a blade on the end for use during battle.
Firefly was a pyromaniac villain who had the ability to create a fireball in his hand, which he could then throw at enemies.
Firefly also wore an overcoat and came with two pistols that fired rubber bands or darts as well as a backpack that was filled with explosives; he was available dressed in either green (Cobra) or brown (G.I. Joe).
A former member of the G.I. Joe team, The Baroness was originally a spy who wore black and carried two pistols that shot darts or rubber bands; she had bangs on her forehead to indicate her status as an undercover agent.
Drifter was a member of the G.I. Joe Team who wore a red beret and had two holsters for guns that fired darts or rubber bands; he was available dressed in either green (Cobra) or brown (G.I. Joe).
Sgt. Slaughter was a military commando who had a long rivalry with Cobra.
Sgt. Slaughter was available in the 1980s as an Army trooper or Marine, and he wore camouflage fatigues; later on, he also became part of G.I. Joe’s team and his uniform changed to red-orange colors with green helmet – but still including the military-inspired design.
Deadnok was a G.I. Joe team member who wore a red bandana, sunglasses, and wielded a flamethrower — perfectly suited for things like, you know, taking down the dreaded Terron.
(Like G.I. Joe Figures of the 1980s? then you might like our article on Six Million Dollar Man Action Figure, click here.)